Criticism of Punk Rock?


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captain_jack
03-08-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm writing a paper for school about the benefits of punk music and the punk community, and I'm looking for counter-arguments that I can acknowledge and then refute. So basically, I need people/organizations who say punk (or any sort of rebellious music, really) is a bad thing for society. Do any of you, off the top of your heads, know of any people or organizations that take this sort of stance? I tried googling "criticism of punk rock" and ended up with pages of irrelevent stuff. I think specific names would help a lot, but I have no idea where to start. Any help is much appreciated!

EL2T
03-08-2010, 06:07 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GG_Allin

This bloke was... interesting?

Edit: Oops, misunderstood what you wanted, thought you wanted examples of excess, sorry, how about saying the establishment (for anarchic punks) or people shocked by 'moral decline' (shown by the likes of GG).

Gakbez
03-08-2010, 06:07 PM
Fundamental Christians

BostonLacrosse
03-08-2010, 06:10 PM
Glen Beck
Metal Heads
Prog rock Kids
sXe kids

and one of my biggest criticisms is the elitism that is in punk rock, I'm guilty of it myself but i don't like it. You could talk about the neo-nazi side of punk and Oi! as well.

hawk_kst
03-08-2010, 06:11 PM
Fundamental Christians
Stereotype!

ikarian-pride
03-08-2010, 06:14 PM
my mum xD
I guess a large amount of cops. Religious fanatics. Metalheads (well, most)

nashawa
03-08-2010, 06:16 PM
Glen Beck
Metal Heads
Prog rock Kids
sXe kids

and one of my biggest criticisms is the elitism that is in punk rock, I'm guilty of it myself but i don't like it. You could talk about the neo-nazi side of punk and Oi! as well.
Straightedge kids hate punk? Wha?

lookpizza
03-08-2010, 06:23 PM
I criticize punk music all the time.

RizzoWashburn
03-08-2010, 06:42 PM
I wish people would stop coming here to ask questions for their school papers.

werty22
03-08-2010, 06:56 PM
Sounds like a dumb idea for a paper. I would do something less stupid if I were you.

sargasm
03-08-2010, 09:37 PM
punks = gay homos thanks to iggy pop boning david bowie.

MrsMesaBoogie
03-09-2010, 03:58 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GG_Allin

This bloke was... interesting?

Edit: Oops, misunderstood what you wanted, thought you wanted examples of excess, sorry, how about saying the establishment (for anarchic punks) or people shocked by 'moral decline' (shown by the likes of GG).

gg allin is awesome

nashawa
03-09-2010, 10:57 AM
^That's ridiculous.

dkeshiki
03-09-2010, 10:58 AM
There was this thing called Mothers Against Noise who came and picketted shows on the Sonic Youth/Wolf Eyes tour, because they deemed the music and messages to be morally corrupt. Later, the website was hacked satirically by fans of these bands.

Punk is associated with crime and, most importantly, Anarchism. Obviously most people dont know the serious political implications of Anarchism and just assume it means "anarchy", or chaos. Subsequently, self-indentified Punks and Anarchists are viewed by the media, the police etc as violent rioters without morals or purpose.

To be honest, it shouldnt be hard to find examples of this sort of thing, as punk is a radical movement which is critical of society. It is only natural that society would try to supress it in return.

Hope that helps.

neidnarb11890
03-09-2010, 02:55 PM
"Punks are all morally depraved nihilists who are just out to fuck shit up and get wasted. They're a burden on society, and a danger to traditional American values."*

*Dickens, Charles. Bleak House.

There you go.

EL2T
03-09-2010, 03:07 PM
gg allin is awesome
Was... surely?

SuperBlob
03-09-2010, 03:21 PM
Was... surely?
Wasn't, surely?

nashawa
03-09-2010, 03:24 PM
People really think GG Allin was cool?

neidnarb11890
03-09-2010, 03:31 PM
GG Allin lives on in his music. I think it's appropriate to use the present tense when describing him. It's like when my friend and I discuss how cool Dostoevsky is. Because even though he's dead, he never stopped being cool. Unless you're Lenin.
That said, GG Allin is not cool.
Surely.

I Dont Belong
03-10-2010, 01:56 AM
I dont care about GG Allin he made the scene look bad. Im surprised that he still has fans. He is an interesting person that is for sure.

BrianApocalypse
03-10-2010, 10:50 AM
Straightedge kids hate punk? Wha?

It's true,

Ian Mackaye hated punks because he developed male pattern baldness at 16, and started the dressed down straight edge movement to say "f*ck you" to them.

TS,

Jello Biafra vs Tipper Gore isn't a bad place to look because it's quite high profile, and you can obviously fit in the Ramones' Censorsh*t quite well. And there's an Oprah interview.

John Lydon is an obvious thing to look at, Tony Blackburn was one obvious anti-punk broadcaster. Bill Grundy should also be mentioned.

A Scottish MP tried to delegalise (edit, wrong word, should be criminalise) glue because kids bought Ramones LP and started sniffing.

You have actually picked quite an obscure niche topic, punk actually wasn't a big a movement as you might think and to an extent you're going to be clutching at straws looking for substantial material. That said, everything I've posted here should be ample matter for a reasonably small report, up to say a couple of thousand words.

Good luck with your report.

dkeshiki
03-10-2010, 11:19 AM
punk actually wasn't a big a movement as you might think and to an extent you're going to be clutching at straws looking for substantial material.


Generally back your post but I have to disagree with this. Punk is at least 40 years of culture by this point. So that's also 40 years of people trying to write it off. And the crucial thing is that they have mainly succeeded, since most people think punk is something which has been and gone, when in fact it is a sustainable network which operates healthily to this day. I dont feel like the TS will be clutching at straws to be honest.

neidnarb11890
03-10-2010, 11:37 AM
I would argue that punk had an undeniably (though it is almost always denied) important impact on the development of music over the past forty years. One could easily write a whole book outlining that.

As a cultural movement, however, I don't think it has a whole lot of importance. Sure, I love punk rock, and most of the people who I see at punk shows are cool guys, but I don't think that has any vastly significant impact on how society is operating. It's something that punks love and everyone else ignores. But I think that's as much a result of the "if you're playing big venues and signing big record contracts, you're a whore" mentality that punks have developed as it is people trying to write it off as something that's come and gone. I don't necessarily think it's wrong that punks feel that way, but it's silly to insist on staying "underground" while simultaneously criticizing "mainstream" society for ignoring you.

But who knows, maybe I'm wrong and punks are, in fact, the unacknowledged legislators of the world!

werty22
03-10-2010, 12:50 PM
No, that's the lizard people.

whyvern
03-10-2010, 01:18 PM
I would argue that punk had an undeniably (though it is almost always denied) important impact on the development of music over the past forty years. One could easily write a whole book outlining that.

As a cultural movement, however, I don't think it has a whole lot of importance. Sure, I love punk rock, and most of the people who I see at punk shows are cool guys, but I don't think that has any vastly significant impact on how society is operating. It's something that punks love and everyone else ignores. But I think that's as much a result of the "if you're playing big venues and signing big record contracts, you're a whore" mentality that punks have developed as it is people trying to write it off as something that's come and gone. I don't necessarily think it's wrong that punks feel that way, but it's silly to insist on staying "underground" while simultaneously criticizing "mainstream" society for ignoring you.

But who knows, maybe I'm wrong and punks are, in fact, the unacknowledged legislators of the world!


I think what's pretty significant; is that we, the punks, have created an alternative to mainstream society when it comes to many different things. We've created a different way to travel and make friends (touring/travelling punk kids), play music, publish our literature/films, live (in a communal punk house/squat) all in ways that we would LIKE to see the world run. Usually this is done within the context of (sometimes subconsciously) anarchism. We've also made FOOD NOT BOMBS a worldwide movement (shit they got one in Nairobi, Kenya), we were amongst the initial organizers and participants of the modern anti-globalization movement, promoted animal rights/environmentalism around the world and conected people and cultures who never would have known each other if it weren't through something so trivial as punk rock music.

Maybe punk hasn't made such a great impact on society in general, but the alternative it's created for those who search it out, is extremely noteworthy.

edit: I'm also not the only that thinks so. There have been several masters thesis written in Anthropology Departments in American/European Universities in the past several years examining the culture of punk rock (and various offshoots of) and alternative it represents to modern society.

BrianApocalypse
03-10-2010, 01:49 PM
Generally back your post but I have to disagree with this. Punk is at least 40 years of culture by this point. So that's also 40 years of people trying to write it off... I dont feel like the TS will be clutching at straws to be honest.

Thanks for calling me out. :)

While you're perfectly correct (in a somewhat linear way) you've misconstrued what I've said.

My point was that punk has always been a very small movement - and it's biggest chartings in the entertainment industry - a very short period in 1967 and 1977 - when the Sex Pistols album and their singles came out, were in fact very much a gimmick on a commercial level, when in fact subsequent views looking back will illustrate that punk was a rather large phenonemon at that point.

Later glories, like the Clash's London Calling being named the best album of the 1980's by a leading american music publication, were the result of critcal canonisation, and not commercial acclaim. (Some of the Sandanista and Combat Rock singles were big in America, but by this point of course the Clash were no longer a punk group.)

In terms of opposition to punk, the actual outroar was again limited. The Bill Grundy show - a nationwide scandal - and its aftermath saw relatively few substantial articles and other media, aside from front page headlines the next day.

In terms of 40 years of punk, what you have to remember is that - with a few exceptions, notably G.G. Allin - any critisism of punk was limited to the late 1970's.

As Jello from the Dead Kennedys hypothesises here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVrTW7AUkoM), (4:50 or thereabouts) punk lost all of its cutting edge and by today's standards is a very tame genre in comparison. This isn't, of course, me being detrimental towards contemporary punk bands, but instead illustrating that society has in fact moved on - indeed, it took as sick as G.G. Allin just to be offensive. And he was fairly sick.

Regarding the original post, while the piece is about the punk subculture, it's going to take recognised opinions from well-known people, such as national media - or indeed Tipper Gore and the Senators' wives - rather than the average joe to illustrate the opposition to the punk movement. And there are less examples of that than one might initially think.

Of course, you could just do a survery asking random people about punk, but everyone knows that surveys are totally gay. :shrug:

I would argue that punk had an undeniably (though it is almost always denied) important impact on the development of music over the past forty years. One could easily write a whole book outlining that.

That's right, there are some very good, and some very awful publications available, which I would be happy to recommend, and not recommend.

But the influence there is of course very much a grass roots one.

As a cultural movement, however, I don't think it has a whole lot of importance. Sure, I love punk rock, and most of the people who I see at punk shows are cool guys, but I don't think that has any vastly significant impact on how society is operating. It's something that punks love and everyone else ignores.

This part helps illustrate that there isn't going to be very much in the way of high-profile critisism.

captain_jack
03-10-2010, 06:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys, especially Brian and whyvern. Brian, you're very much right in that there isn't exactly a wealth of high profile criticism out there that I can include in the paper. It's an 8-10 pager, but thankfully the criticism is only one aspect that I'll be touching on. One of the main points I plan to make is actually the whole alternative community/DIY ethic that whyvern mentioned, which I ought to be able to do quite a bit with.
I'll be googling Brian's suggestions shortly. :)

dkeshiki
03-11-2010, 12:43 AM
Yeah I think we essentially agree Brian :) I wasnt trying to piss on your chips by any means.
In terms of high profile criticism it's true that there hasn't been all that much of late, as it avoids the mainstream more and more as it progresses. But there are still cases like anti-emo violence in Mexico, which was initially played out like a "mods and rockers" thing but actually had much more of a macho homophobic motive, or the Daily Mail (british right wing bullshit tabloid) warning about emo being a "cult" which was ensnaring children.
I know this is the kind of emo which is a million miles away from punk by this point, but it demonstrates the mainstream/status quo vs alternative culture argument in more recent terms.

Here's that Daily Mail article if you havent seen it.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-400953/EMO-cult-warning-parents.html

I just find this stuff interesting, apologies if it's not helpful at all.